• Artis Natura

Landscape We Carry With Us


(after Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways)

You make a choice, to walk out onto the frozen crust of a northern lake, even in what seems to be the coldest of mid-Januarys.

One night, two weeks ago, in a sudden thaw, an ice-fishing hut slipped under, angled, swallowed whole, disappeared.

You must choose to walk with open heart, mind split wide, hemispheres of brain emptying themselves onto rough shoreline because it is not logic or reason that has you catching your breath, unaware, startled by such beauty.

Out beyond this bay, the horizon loses itself, turns around, searches, frantic for the intimate spaces where floor of mottled ice touches vast ceiling of winter sky.

Make a snow angel here, arms and legs out wildly, so that you track the flight of an eagle, or take in the call of a raven, silhouettes high above you, feathers etched in air, frozen.

Afterwards, the dog, spent from chasing rogue snow drifts and misplaced porcupines, thinks small mirrors of ice promise her water, only to velvet-nose them, tongue lolling, dreams of swimming in summer.


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